The Aquarium has added three new penguins to its colony; Montana, Mario, and Desi!
All three penguins were transferred from Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, NY earlier this year under the direction of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Aquarium has worked closely with the Species Survival Program (SSP) to house the new penguins in hopes they will breed to keep the Humboldt penguin population healthy and genetically diverse.
“This is a very exciting time for us!” said Richelle Swem, Curator of Animal Care. “We are able to work with other facilities to help the Humboldt penguin population and grow our colony! All the penguins are acclimating well to their new home and with their new colony members.”
The new penguins are made up on of one breeding pair, Mario and Montana (also known as Monty), as well as a single male, Desi. Mario is a 15 year old male and Monty is a 13 year old female, who have successfully bred together in the past and optimistically will in the near future. Desi is a 5 year old bachelor with hopes he will find his mate here at the Aquarium.
“Successfully attaining accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has afforded our organization the opportunity to participate in global conservation initiatives.” said Gary Siddall, Executive Director. “We are proudly committed to ensuring genetic diversity among our colony of penguins, and will continue to allocate resources to support this important and threatened species.”
Mario, Montana and Desi bring the colony to a total of 10 penguins. Penguin Coast can provide housing for up to 20 penguins. The last penguin chick born at the Aquarium was Chile in 2006 to Araya and Lou, all current Aquarium residents.